Labor is the energy superidiot


Labor energy policies have done this to the nation:

A spokesperson for Aemo said the aim of Thursday’s notice was to signal the market faced elevated risks. Gas storage levels were slightly below those for this time of year compared with 2021 and 2022.

Gas pipelines from Queensland were already at full capacity so there was no extra help from that source as there was in those two earlier years. “Longford does not have the capacity it did back in 2021 and 2022 either,” the spokesperson said.

…EnergyQuest’s Wilkinson said Victoria would struggle to meet peak winter gas demand days from 2026, noting Aemo’s own warnings. “We need a backup to the system,” he said.

One option had been to complete Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s Port Kembla gas-import facility, which is 90% finished. However, a regasification vessel that could have enabled the importation had headed instead to Egypt after local contracts weren’t signed, Wilkinson said. Another probably won’t be available for another 18 months.

…A spokesperson for energy minister Chris Bowen said the Albanese government had granted Aemo “adequate levers to address any issues and increase storage holdings if required”.

“Aemo is comfortable there is now sufficient supply in the market for at least four years because of the Albanese Government’s gas code of conduct which has secured more than 600 petajoules of gas for east coast gas users, the equivalent of six years’ supply for gas power generators,” she said.

So where is it, Minister? The East Coast gas cartel is no more trustworthy than Labor.

We have known about depleting gas reserves in Bass Strait forever yet what has Labor done?

  • Labor approved all of the LNG export plants in QLD.
  • Labor did nothing to apply domestic reservation as they were built.
  • Labor prevented all unconventional gas exploration in southern states (though in VIC it was The Nationals that first banned it).
  • Labor did nothing as the gas cartel war-profiteered through 2022, a generational opportunity to restructure markets.
  • Labor’s code of conduct is a laughing stock today. Here’s the $12Gj price cap for you, above $17Gj:

And electricity prices, which were supposed to fall $500 per bill under Albo, have instead roared higher from a $50-60Mwh average to $144MWh average:


And this is supposed to be accepted as “adequate”? I’d hate to see inadequate.

Labor does have a solid renewables policy in the Capacity Investment Scheme to crowd in private investment, as well as spending $20 billion to expand the network.

This is in the tradition of some good energy policymaking, including the carbon price.


But, so far, Labor is miles behind the curve for its Paris targets, largely because gas has been ignored as the transitional fuel.

Unless something changes fast, the lights are going to go out in Australia in the next few years.

P.S. Coming tomorrow: “Liberals are the energy superidiot”.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.